Bunny to Bunny

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All communities consist of grownups and young children. We developed the concept of Bunny to Bunny—a way of conceptualizing supported development—by thinking of the grownups as Big Bunnies and the children as Little Bunnies. The social and emotional connections and the brain development that happens when interactions are supported and nurtured from Bunny to Bunny can set the stage for overall development during the first five years of life.

Recognizing the potential of books to elicit the kind of back-and-forth interactions that are so beneficial to infants, we developed a concept for a series of books called Bunny to Bunny. The books will be grounded in the learning sciences and designed to foster these kinds of interactions. Our group—a child development scientist, an education specialist, a children’s books and media producer, and a science journalist—came together as part of the Learning Sciences Exchange Fellowship, which is organised by New America and the Jacobs foundation, and the International Congress on Infant Studies. The aim of the fellowship is to bring the learning sciences out of academia and to create a conversation between scientists, journalists, entertainers, and policy makers.

The first book is called Sing Me Your Song. We are now working with distribution partners who encourage reading at a young age and provide free books at child care facilities to achieve that goal. We hope that by making our book available to families, especially in low-income areas, these vital interactions will be encouraged, setting up children for success. We are open to further collaboration and would like to hear from potential partners.

Megan McClelland is the Katherine E. Smith Professor of Healthy Children and Families at Oregon State University, where she is Endowed Director of the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families.

Jill Shinderman is a writer and producer with more than 25 years of experience combining early childhood education with creative content to engage children and families. She helms the boutique publishing venture, Barclay Square Books, which produces children’s books designed to cultivate attachment, enrich parenting practices, and create community across the entire ecosystem of a child’s life. Shinderman is an inaugural fellow of the Learning Sciences Exchange. She is known for her encouragement to “Empower the parent. Inspire the child.”

Janna Pahnke is the scientific director at Stiftung “Haus der kleinen Forscher” (Little Scientists’ House), a non-profit foundation in Berlin focusing on high-quality early education and continuing professional development of teachers in science, technology, computer science, and mathematics, as well as education for sustainable development. 

Catherine de Lange is an award-winning science journalist and senior editor at New Scientist magazine, based in London, where she commissions and writes articles on a range of subjects, specializing in neuroscience, health, and genetics. She oversees all of the magazine’s coverage of COVID-19 and writes a bi-monthly newsletter about evidence-based parenting in the pandemic. Her first book, 10 Voyages Through the Human Mind, was published in 2019. Her second book, Brain Power: Everything You Need to Know for a Healthy, Happy Brain, is due to be published later in 2021. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human sciences from University College London, and a master’s degree in science media production from Imperial College London.

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